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Lythrum salicaria

Lythrum salicaria

Common name purple loosestrife
Family lythraceae
Life cycle perennial (Z3-9)
Flowers purple-pink (summer)
Size 2-4'
Light sun
Cultural notes medium to wet soil

The ornamental properties of this plant, native to Europe, are overshadowed by its invasive tendencies in the eastern United States, where it has quickly overrun wetlands and outcompeted native flora. We planted our single plant very early on in our garden's life, in the hot dry border along the front of our house – not exactly its ideal desired conditions. So it has never been particularly exuberant. In fact, I thought it had disappeared years ago, lost between perennials and shrubs better suited to those conditions. But all of a sudden, one mid-July day, there it was, blooming nicely but sparsely, peeking out from behind coneflowers and eryngiums. I guess I'd better remove it, even though I've never seen any tendency for my plant to spread or reseed.

We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.

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